Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lana, you are five!?!

Dear Lana,

Today you are five years old. How? It seems like yesterday you were just a tiny baby with lots of black hair, screaming and crying all day long. Now, my sweet, you are a big kid, a mini-adult sometimes, you are funny, creative, so smart and my little friend.

You are so much like Baba in so many ways. You look like him, you act like him, you have a very special bond with your Baba. You love to watch basketball together and you remember all of the team abbreviations and uniform colors. You also watch wrestling together, all while I am rolling my eyes right out of my head. You love to work in the garden with Baba and kick a ball (you are a great kicker). I love to watch the two of you together and I love how you both love each other so much.

This year has been such a fun year to watch you grow. You love school and your teacher. You love to get your work on the best work wall. You have an amazing vocabulary and you never forget anything--sometimes its scary what's going on in that head of yours. You have learned to write beautifully and I love it when you write me notes, with little drawings of you and me together. I wish I could save every single one along with all of your artwork, but I don't think the house is big enough for all that you create. I do save my very favorites, but I treasure each one in my heart. Your artwork is simply amazing and I have loved watching your drawings become more detailed and complex over this past year. You have also started reading a bit, but like most things, you demand perfection from yourself and if you struggle, you tend to give up. I know your confidence will grow and you will be reading and riding that bike when you decide you will succeed.

One of my favorite things about you, Lana, is your heart--you are so kind and thoughtful. You are never mean, not even to Lacey, not even when she is annoying you. You are nice to adults, to friends, to your family. You want to send people cards and notes and art just because or when they are sick or sad. You love to talk to people--in elevators, in Target, anywhere really. You always ask the cashier his/her name, you know all of the employees at the grocery store by name and you always stop to say hi--Sue in flowers, Mark in meat, Jenny at the pharmacy, Mel, Julie, Yvonne at checkout. I am so impressed with how outgoing you are--you don't get that from me!

You have lots of toys and games, but really you don't play with them all that much. You always want someone to play pretend with you--elaborate games of pretend. I love listening to your creative mind as you bounce all over the room telling me about the party we are planning, your friend who is visiting from India or how very sick Hello Kitty is and how she needs surgery.

This year you have become more affectionate, which I love. I will take any and all hugs and kisses you are willing to give. You love to hold hands and even though you are getting a little bit big to carry, I will oblige while I can. I love our special days together when its just you and I--doing big girl things, having ladies lunch and cooking together. I also love how you are starting to include Lacey in your playtime. I know this takes a lot of patience. I hope you know how much you are loved and treasured in our family. Happy Birthday my sweet Lana Ru!

Love, Mama and Baba

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss Picky

Lacey is on a food jag. Just as I was starting to relax a bit with her picky eating and sing the praises of occupational therapy, she has decided to boycott all protein and veggies. That would be no dairy (allergic), no eggs, no meat, no tofu, no veggies except roasted seaweed snack from Trader Joes (that stuff rocks!). She only eats pasta (with or without marinara) bread and fruit. Oh, and junk food--she is all over junk food. Fries, soy ice cream, popsicles, potato chips, cookies, jellybeans. I keep telling myself its a phase, that she will be fine and eventually will eat something with nutritional value. Its in sharp contrast with Lana, who eats great! I asked Lana what she wants for her birthday dinner--she said, grilled fish and broccoli pasta. I love that kid!

Speaking of birthdays, I can't believe Lana is turning 5. I have been so teary when reading other moms' birthday tributes and letters. I just feel so emotional about this one for some reason.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Our big trip to SUNSHINE!

This time of year in the Pacific NW can be really really rainy. The weather here doesn't really bother me since I like cool-ish weather, but this year has been extra rainy, gloomy and even the natives are complaining. So, we took a get-away-from-the-rain vacay to the Caribbean!! Yeah, I know its far, but last year when we went to Hawaii, it was too cool to swim which defeats the whole purpose of going somewhere sunny. We saw the wonderful-looking commercials for Beaches, the family resort in Turks and Caicos and after talking with some friends who went last year, we bit the bullet!

Bill loves to travel, its his hobby and passion. Before we had kids, we had neither the time nor money to travel big, but we did manage a few amazing trips to Italy, the Mexican Riviera and Taiwan and a bunch of fun domestic travel. Now we have more time and money, but we have the kids and we don't have the luxury of leaving them with grandparents for a grown up vacation, so we just suck it up and travel with them. Which of course means its going to be a different kind of getaway--not bad, just not as relaxing.

Lana has traveled a lot in her young life. When she was under 2, we were THAT family--you know, the one with the screaming kid and the parents passing the kid back and forth, sweating b/c they felt the eyes of judgement from the other passengers. Now, Lana is easy peasy. She colors, she snacks, she plays her Leapster, she lays down if she feels tired. She adapts well to changes in schedule (finally!!), eats whatever and is generally in a happy mood. Lacey, my sweet, easygoing kid hit the 18 month hellion phase days before we left and all I have to say is, "WTH was I thinking taking an 18 month old on such a big, long trip?" The flights were painful with her, her schedule was all over the place, she barely slept 8h/night. Miss Crabby Pants? Oh yeah, that's an understatement. Patient in restaurants? Hell no. After 7 days we were really looking forward to getting her home and back on track--better eating habits, better sleeping.

Despite all of that, we did have a really nice time. I could go all trip advisor on you and lay down the plusses and minuses about Beaches, because while there were some truly amazing things about the place, there were also some things that could have and should have been a lot better (at that price point), but I will just get some photos out there b/c that's what counts. We did have a wonderful time and I would love to go back to the Caribbean (hello, the beautiful, warm water), but I probably wouldn't do an all-inclusive again because with kids this young, we didn't take advantage of most of the things that make the all-inclusive awesome--unless you count the tropical drinks--we definitely made the most of that--lol! So here are the many pics of smiling and sleeping kids because all of that swimming tires you out!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Memory lane

I was recently looking at old posts, more specifically, the first few months of my blog when Lana was about 23 months old. I can almost not remember her being that young. Yes, the memories are intact, but when I look at her face in the photos, it seems almost unreal that she was ever that little, that babyish, that chubby roundface slurping noodles and saying words like "mahna" for cat. My brain cannot access her at that age! She has always been speaking in complete sentences, telling me elaborate stories, asking me ridiculously hard questions , right? Lacey is now 19 months old and it occurred to me that in a few years I am not going to be able to imagine her a toddler-baby. I wonder what she will be like at nearly 5. But I am sure it will seem unreal too that she was once tiny little girl with barely any hair that loved to wash her hands with "bose" (soap) just so she could see the bubbles or walk around the house nekkid, only wearing Lana's shoes. Ahh, it happens so fast--the baby becomes the toddler, the toddler becomes the big kid (I cannot even conceive of what's coming next!). But I am so glad I have this blog to document the details that my brain is sure to forget.

While I was meandering through old posts, I came across the post when I found out dad had cancer and I read the comments. Then I read the comments after the post when dad lost his battle. These comments from friends, some of whom I have met, some I have not, have literally held me up, gotten me through. The support, the friendship, the love and hugs I have felt, whether its a post about frustration in parenting, a silly kid story or a major family or personal crisis is truly an unmeasurable gift and I have so much gratitude for each and every comment. Having this blog is so much more than a baby book.

I haven't been very good at posting lately, but after looking at some of those early stories and photos, I feel inspired to find some time to record the details--of the kids, of my inner-thoughts, of our family life because time passes way too quickly.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I am all done. Really!

As we are getting our shoes on to head out to the park today Lana determines that Lacey's shoes are too small.

She says, "Mom, you better put those shoes away and save them for the new baby."

I am like, "Huh? What new baby?"

She replies--"You know, the one you are going to have next."

Dumbfounded, I say, "Lana, there will not be any more babies. Mommy is all done."

She says (with a bit of attitude), "I don't think so Mom."

Clearly, Bill has been brainwashing Lana.